by Betty B. Robertson
A Calvin and Hobbes cartoon pictures Calvin sitting in class, eyes half closed, about ready to drift off to sleep. Suddenly he sits upright and screams: Boring! Uninteresting! Ho-Hum!
The child who sits in class like a zombie, showing no interest, will become almost automatically drawn into a Bible game. Or Joe Cool who wouldn't be caught dead singing or participating in any way, can't resist participating in a game.
"A little bit of sugar makes the medicine go down," sang Walt Disney's Mary Poppins. Her point, of course, was that even things which are distasteful can be made pleasant - in fact, downright fun.
This same principle applies to Christian Education of children. The primary purpose of Bible games is to review Bible facts, verses and concepts. Educational experts tell us that one-third of our teaching time should be spent in review! Application of knowledge is important for utilization. Reviewing helps learning become a meaningful part of a child's life.
1. Write your questions in advance keeping in mind your objective which is to review and re-emphasize.
The questions used in the games determine their effectiveness as a teaching tool. Always think FIRST of what you want to accomplish with the children.
Review questions fall into two basic categories:
(a) Bible truth: facts, truths and verses
(b) Bible application: applying truths and concepts to life. Encourages children to use the facts he knows and apply to life in problem solving. Examples: Is it all right to cheat on a test if you have been sick and could not study? What would you do if your best friend told a lie about you.
2. Try out the game ahead of time and think through potential problems, so the purpose for playing the game is not lost.
Our purpose as teachers is not playing the game itself, but to review. If the children will be tossing for points, how far back should they stand? Is it best to place it on the floor or on a table? What happens if they miss? How many times can they try again?
3. Do not embarrass pupils.
Use pairs or teams. If you have pupils who come irregularly and were not present when some of the
bible material was taught, team them with pupils who do come regularly. This will save an irregular attender from embarrassment and allow him to enjoy the Bible game.
4. Emphasize cooperation rather than competition.
5. Rotate games so they will stay new and fresh.